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I know I usually just banter about the street style daily news from Japan, but it might be worthwhile to take you on a cultural trip through this historically rich nation. Just across the street from where Harajuku’s fashion alleys sprawl is the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine that’s almost 90 years old. Embedded deep within a forest, visitors from around the world come here to worship, pray, sightsee, get married, relax, or collect information for blog write-ups.

The trail winds tortuously through the woods, and the thousands of daily visitors kick up a dust storm that blurs the afternoon’s hazy sunshine.

Today they were having an ice sculpture show along the path. I guess ice artists from all over contributed some of these intricate pieces.

It was interesting to watch the sculptures throughout the day as sunrays pierced the treetops and sliced through some of the figures..

And eventually got the better of some of ’em.

Nothing lasts forever.

The main gate.

Visitors leave prayers for loved ones.

Today was a national holiday here in Japan.. the Coming-of-Age day, which celebrates all youth who turn 20 this year. All the girls who’ll be hitting the double-decades in 2009 wore traditional kimonos and zori slippers out in public and in ceremonies,.. you could spot them from a mile away. I know much of our crew back home would appreciate a day like this.

Just Married.

Unexpected social groups that I witnessed making the pilgrimage to the Shrine: Korean golfer dads, Australian white girls, teenage hesh skaterats, lowrider chicks, and Japanese rockabillies.

Here’s some footage from the Shrine. As you’ll see, there are a lot of practices being observed that I’m not educated enough to speak on.. so I won’t even bother trying to explain what is happening here.. Maybe this will help.

by bobbyhundreds

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